Réclusion et exclusion: L'ambiguïté du désir dans la représentation de la femme islamique

Orientalism has often been accused of being a mere excuse for voyeurism. And this may seem all the more true that the veiled woman is often represented in the nude. However, this representation surprisingly derives from the sacred texts of Islam, where she is spoken, told, envisioned and secluded in a religious, architectural, verbal and sexual architecture. Man's mistrust of his own desire makes her a prisoner of this very desire, leaving her no alternative: obedient seclusion or exclusion from her community. No wonder then, that the French writers and painters have played upon this ambiguity. But did they represent her as the erotic center of the beholder's gaze, or as the tragic embodiment of her condition, therefore paradoxically turning her into a free meaningful creature, a whole poetics? (In French)(CJB) [Treatment of Moslem women compared to painting.]
Beaudan, Colette Juilliard
Volume 1994-1995 Fall-Winter; 23(1-2): 35-41